What Do the 'Holiday Terror Warning' Targets Have in Common?

The entirely predictable holiday terror warning has been sent out from the Department of Homeland Insecurity to law enforcement agencies nationwide once again. Tell me if you can spot what all of the following potential targets have in common.

The document suggests that terrorists may consider public gatherings like "sporting events, parades, religious and cultural activities" to be attractive targets. "Attacks against these targets could maximize the psychological impact on the American public given the symbolic importance of the holiday season to many in the United States," says the bulletin. "Attacks against air cargo during this busy season are also a concern."

If you guessed that all of these are (a) places where large crowds gather, and (b) places where authorities have outlawed the otherwise legal carry of concealed weapons, you were right!

Laws of course vary from state to state, but the simple fact is that the large majority of states -- even those that allow concealed carry -- have lacked the foresight to see a concealed carry permit holder as anything other than a civilian protecting himself or herself. They have yet to grasp the fact that concealed carry permit holders are the first line of defense against a Mumbai-style attack.

In my county (Wake), there are 12,826 people with concealed carry permits, a fraction of the 195,553 citizens in North Carolina that could be legally carrying firearms on any given day. It goes without saying that the civilian firepower here dwarfs that of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. We must assume the same runs true in all “red” states.

Unfortunately, like almost every other state in the union, squeamish legislators here have unduly restricted the rights of carry permit holders to exclude them from "going heeled" in the vast majority of public places. Virtually every public place that a terrorist might find an attractive target has been made into a softer target by well-intentioned but short-sighted legislators.

Let's look at that list of potential targets that DHS published again: " ... sporting events, parades, religious and cultural activities." Add to that malls and schools as prime "anytime" targets that are especially ripe this time of year. In each and every one of these places, citizens in many states have been barred from carrying concealed firearms. These restrictions, with variations, have been pushed upon carry permit holders in every state where anti-gun politicians have caved to unrealistic fears that a permit holder could start firing indiscriminately into crowds. These same authorities, of course, are comforted by armed and uniformed law enforcement officers in these same locations, even though these officers are few and far between, and often have lesser firearm skills than the carry permit holders.

As a result of these restrictions, carry permit holders have two choices. They can choose to break these arbitrary and illogical laws and carry their weapons, running the risk of fines or imprisonment, or they can go unarmed. The vast majority, of course, choose to go unarmed. This is the exact point of nuisance restrictions placed upon carry permit holders. While anti-gun legislators bend to public opinion and pass minimal laws that allow the issuance of permits, they make the process of carrying as onerous and restrictive as possible in an attempt to keep the number of citizens exercising their rights minimized. It is nanny-statist, vindictive, and deadly.